Two immigration policemen approached Amer Adi Othman’s ex-wife outside her dwelling one morning in April 1990 with a model to signal. Scared of the two strange guys, she signed it quickly and returned to her two children inside.

Nearly 30 year later, the anatomy is at the heart of the government’s example to behave Othman.

Othman, a 57 -year-old Youngstown, Ohio man, was incarcerated Tuesday and scheduled for deportation to his native Jordan. A father of four, Othman is married to a U.S. citizen, and is beloved in his Ohio community. He has followed immigration law to the word, his advocate says. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement alleges him of recruiting a sham matrimony practically 40 years ago based on the structure his ex-wife signed. But the woman cus under curse in 2007 that she’d signed the flesh under dures from officers whom she believed “wanted me to say what they wanted to hear.”

Othman’s family said they haven’t been able to talk to him since Tuesday night.

” He had no visitation rights. That was a little bit worrisome for us because he is on a hunger strike. We’ve been worried about his health ,” his daughter Lina Adi told The Daily Beast after flying to Ohio from Colorado once she found out about her father’s detention.

Originally from Jordan, Othman is a leader in his Youngstown neighborhood, his congressman Rep. Tim Ryan said.

” The guy’s a pillar of all levels of society. He creates jobs, has had several transactions ,” Ryan told The Daily Beast.” He was the first one be brought into downtown Youngstown and make an investment. Since then, we’ve had a huge revitalization in our downtown … He would pass out 300 turkeys on Thanksgiving to the poorest people in the community. He’s the best guy you’d ever want to meet in your life .”

Ohio state Sen. Joe Schiavoni agreed.” I’ve lived in the Youngstown area almost all my life, and I have watched the revitalization of downtown.[ Othman] has been a key to that redevelopment. He wreaked a little convenience store right in downtown Youngstown, when nobody else would .”

On Thursday night, other legislators too moved in favor of Othman. The House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security voted unanimously for a private bill to hinder him in the two countries.

“He remains in ICE custody this morning but the unanimous vote should stay the expulsion for at least 6 months and ICE is expected to release him, ” his solicitor David Leopold told The Daily Beast on Friday.

Othman assembled his first wife, whose epithet The Daily Beast is withholding, at a San Diego, California restaurant in 1980. She was a cook. Othman was a busboy. They lived together five a few months ago marrying in a ritual in front of family and working sidekicks, she said in a 2007 affidavit in one of his immigration cases

” The possible of Amer receiving a green card never crossed my psyche at any point during our courting or marriage ceremony ,” the first bride declared in a sworn affidavit.” We wedded for no other rationale than that we loved one another and wanted to be together .” They didn’t apply for Othman’s green card until nearly a year after their union, she said. But the young duo divide after two years together, quoting irreconcilable differences. Othman’s ex-wife said in the declaration that she’d become involved with another man during the matrimony. Then, in April 1990, Othman’s ex-wife received a see from the agents from the now-defunct Immigrants and Naturalization Service.

” They knocked on the door at about 7:30 or 8 in the morning, when I was still in my bedclothes ,” she swore in the affidavit. She had been home alone getting her eight-year-old twins ready for institution, and she stepped outside the house to keep the federal agents out of her young sons’ sight.

” All I required was for them to go away and leave me alone so that I could go back to feeding my children and get them to school ,” she said.

Her conversation with the INS agents lasted less than an hour, and she did not remember everything she told them.

” I expected the men if the government has Amer’s contact information. I was worried about him and also enraged that he was why “the mens” were there. The gentlemen said they could not give me that message, and that formed me even angrier .”

The INS agents left and recalled a few days later to the ex-wife’s hysterium.” I have an Irish humour and I can get very angry ,” she wrote.” As a natural-born U.S. citizen, I am unfamiliar with immigration procedures .”

The INS agents converged her outside her house and demonstrated her a statement to sign.” I got the sense that the officers wanted me to say what they wanted to hear so that[ they] would leave me alone ,” she swore. Aware of what prying neighbours might envision, scared for the two children unsupervised in her residence, and fierce at the continuation of the interruptions, Othman’s ex-wife signed the statement on the spot. She doesn’t recall ever receives the copy.

The affidavit did not convince a evaluate to award Othman a visa. In 2012, an court of appeals ruled that Othman’s ex-wife’s affidavit should not outweigh her 1990 account. The tribunal pointed to lack of evidence that the couple had actually supported a wedding ceremony, and thatthe other man with whom the ex-wife became involved had roomed with the young couple.

” We wedded for no other rationale than that we cherished each other and wanted to be together .”

” Over the last decade, Mr. Othman’s immigration case has undergone exhaustive judicial evaluation at multiple levels of the nation’s courts, including before the immigration courts, federal appeals courts and U.S. region court ,” an ICE spokesperson said. In each revaluation, the courts have uniformly is of the view that Mr. Othman does not have a law basis to remain in the U.S. As such, Mr. Othman will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States .”

Ordinarily, an ex-spouse’s affidavit wouldn’t matter in a case like Othman’s because he had a green card, which does not expire due to divorce. But green card holders can lose their status if they waste substantial time outside the country.

After Othman got married to his current spouse, the couple lives in Brazil for more than a year, and his green card status was deprived. When he learned what happened after gotta go back to the U.S ., Othman attempted to apply for a green card through his current wife–and was repudiated because of his ex-wife.

” There’s this arcane principle that says if you’ve ever tried to get a green card of flags of convenience through wedlock, you’re eternally must refrain from getting a green card ,” his lawyer Leopold said.

” The problem with that is the finding that he enrolled a marriage of convenience was a learning that was stimulated times after that marriage had ended. The procure was made without his insight, without any observe to him, without any opportunity to defend himself, to cross-examine witnesses. It was not reached in an open courtroom by any adjudicator. It was made by INS bureaucrat in some windowless area .”

Othman and his wife didn’t learn about his green card trouble until he applied for one through their wedding to her.

That’s when he saw the statement his ex-wife had signed, his advocate said. The two had reincarnated their friendship since 1990, and she was surprised when “shes seen” the text of the statement. She didn’t remember saying all those happenings, she swore in the affidavit.

” I am making this true statement now because I had no evidence that my wars would effect Amer such fus ,” she blasphemed in the 2007 declaration.” I want to set things straight. Now that I have received the statement, I want the truth to be properly recorded in my own statements. Although it has been unpleasant recalling all these events, it is important to me to stir the truth known .”

But despite the declaration, Othman’s immigration hassles deteriorated. He was scheduled for deportation, but” was a low-priority action under the Obama administration ,” Leopold said.” For times, even though he was under a final administrative guild, he was living and working here, and reporting to immigration dutifully .”

Rep. Ryan intervened on Othman’s behalf twice, filing private greenbacks on Othman’s behalf with the House’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

” If[ committee members] ask for a report on the lawsuit from ICE, then proceedings stop so the committee can look at the private proposal and the instance ,” Ryan said.” Normally it stops all the expulsion proceedings, and hopefully tries to find some solvings. We did that in 2013 and 2016.”

Leopold says private statutes forgotten superpower after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

” Formerly the brand-new organisation came in and priorities were shed out, “its become”‘ grab whoever they are able to for eviction ,'” he said.” They put an ankle bracelet on him in September and told him they craved him out by January 7.”

Othman complied with the ordering. He prepared to leave the country where his four children had been born.

” He’d bought his ticket, his family had exchanged their room ,” Leopold said.” He’d said goodbye to the community, a public goodbye the Thursday before the 7th. The next day, I got a phone call from ICE telling me’ the eviction is off. We’re not gonna insist that your patron leave .'”

Instead, Leopold said, ICE questioned Othman to stop by their headquarters for a routine check-in on January 16. Leopold nearly didn’t accompany him on the visit, which promised to be minor. But he labelled along, in the hopes that ICE would back off altogether, or at the least prepare a later eviction year. In a show of solidarity, a crowd of Othman’s community members, together with Ryan accompanied Othman and his wife up to the door.

” We croaked in. They closed the door ,” Leopold said.” It fastened behind him, and “theyre saying”‘ we’re not gonna beat around the bush here, we’re taking you into detention .'”

ICE communicated Othman’s wife and advocate away.

” She was in collapse. She didn’t get to say bye ,” his daugher Lina said.” They only took him and threw him behind the glass. She had to talk to him behind a glass on a telephone. In the last 29 years they’ve been married, they’ve been side by side.”

Leopold described ICE’s arrest and imprisonment of a husband that they had already bought his own plane ticket back to Jordan as” brazen inhumanity .”

” I’ve lost clients, I’ve won instances, I’ve seen people detained who I didn’t thinks should be detained, he said.” I’ve done this a lot, and I’ve been able to walk away from every suit maybe not agreeing with the outcome, but being able to understand why the reviewer or organization drawn the decision in most cases. I stepped out of ICE headquarters yesterday amazed as an advocate and panicked as an American .”

The beings of Youngstown continue to support Adi’s family and their downtown deli, which redoubles as a hookah barroom at night.

” I feel the community’s gazes have opened up. They’re ashamed that someone would be treated this method ,” Lina said.

— Additional reporting by Brandy Zadrozny